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A proprietary estoppel claim can be made when someone has been promised that they will be given an interest in a property, but that promise is subsequently reneged upon.

In order to bring a proprietary estoppel claim you must be able to show:

  • That a promise has been made. This will usually be explicit, but it also includes situations where someone passively allows another person to do something under a mistaken belief
  • The promise has been relied upon and, in doing so, they have acted to their detriment, suffering substantial loss
  • It would be ‘unconscionable’ for the party who gave the promise to be allowed to go back on their promise.

Where a proprietary estoppel claim is successful the court can give the claimant a beneficial interest in the property, award them a lump sum, allow them to occupy the property rent free or simply a transfer the freehold title of the property to them.

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